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Rating: 4.1/5 (111 votes)
Comments (35) | Views (17,103)


SatoriWelcome back, dear reader! Take this pillow for more comfortable lumbar support. There, isn't that better? Can I freshen up your drink there? Here's a little soft music while we provide soothing neckrubs, and cool you with gently-waving palm boughs. Making a good thing even better is the whole design philosophy behind tamaii's outstanding new picross game Pixelo, and boy is the improvement ever noticable! Sure to become a touchstone of the genre for all its refinements, not only is the visual theming stellar but it features more unlockables than you can shake a stick at, a shop where you can buy upgrades, and its own leveling system just in case you wanted a few role-playing game elements with your picross. If you prefer a comfortable environment while chisling away the various possibilities until the underlying pattern emerges, Pixelo is a must-play — and if you haven't tried picross yet, this is absolutely the one to start with.

PixeloMovement is with the [arrows], while [X] marks a square and [spacebar] confirms. Or, squares are selected with the mouse and either marked or confirmed depending on which you've got selected at the moment. It's all a matter of which you'd prefer, and through gameplay you'll unlock new movement buffs like the ability to go off the map in one direction only to wrap around to the other, or to hold down an arrow and go schooming off at entirely unsafe cruising speeds. These become important because your performance in terms of proficiency, accuracy and timeliness affect your end-of-level earning of gold and experience points in... some... nebulous, synchronistic way not actually described in the game. When there's no explanation for how something works it's usually I-Ching stalks, don't you find? Your experience is what causes you to level, which unlocks new badges you can then buy with gold and then equip for various additional buffs. Progressing through levels will also reward you with prizes which can grant you new abilities. You'll also have the option to purchase the Shop, which will enable you to buy different background music, background themes and tilesets to customize the look as you'd like it. The Option menu has even more customizations you'll unlock as you play, which will allow you to recolor the background and disable any features you've unlocked but in retrospect would rather you hadn't. Breaking the sound barrier with your cursor could be one of these. The visual style is uncannily like John Cooney's breakout hit Idleplex minus all the deranged random elements and fecophilia — which some readers will appreciate — and beyond that all the customization options really provide a the sense of personalization and belonging.

Which is important, since Pixelo also comes with over five hundred puzzles, over 100 badges and prizes, autosave, records and stats of your progress, and daily puzzles (which tamaii is currently fixing as of this writing). Oh, and did I mention an Android version? Yep, there's an Android version in the works and you're going to want it, and if you've got an iOS, Pixelo is on that too. As of this writing, some Firefox users are finding Pixelo a little laggy (while others aren't), so be aware that the developer knows about it and is already working on it. It's also worth noting that this game marks tamaii's debut, and that with such a solid five-star title like this people are cheering about it all over the internet already despite it being the work of one guy off in South Korea. The moral of the story here is that people appreciate value, and that if you provide it they'll come flocking to you in droves from everywhere in the world. If content is king, tamaii is definitely the developer to watch!

Play Pixelo

Download on the AppstorePixelo (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)


shipoopie April 28, 2014 11:16 AM

When I clicked on it to play an ad played. Then, when that was done, two more ads started playing at the same time with one covering the other and mixed audio from both. The game finally started up after the purple bar on the bottom filled up. Then, there's an ad in the middle that has a play button, but it's not the game you just though you loaded, you have to click the play button below the play button. Ads in general are alright but it looks like there are cascading ads from all the different levels of whatever that support the game. Sort of like how years ago if you clicked from a website that had a frame to several other websites that had frames, the frames would fill up the browser and get out of hand.

There was another game like this on JIG recently that just let me play the levels without all the fanfare. This version has a lot going on that gets in the way of just solving puzzles. Also, why do you need to click a level icon twice just to solve the puzzle? Then there's confetti and cheering and an evaluation of your performance and I just want to solve puzzles. Maybe you have to enter that useless profile name to compete against the world, but with games like this a worldwide leaderboard is useless as soon as someone posts a walkthrough. Then it becomes how fast you can click until the hackers come along, which they have. Someone already has a billion points!

This game has put me in a mood. :-(

argyblarg April 28, 2014 1:30 PM

RPG meets Achievement Unlocked meets Picross? Interesting.

I agree completely with shipoopie, it's a little over the top for me, too. I get a "badge" for pressing a key? An "achievement" scratching off a square? Fireworks for solving a 5x5? Like us on Facebook for lots of fake money?

It's kind of like one of jmtb02's wonderful parodies, but I think it's taking itself seriously.

And the music is...strange. I can't tell if it's two melodies on top of each other, but that's kind of what it sounds like to me. Maybe that's just me, though.


The achievements and the badges do slow down soon enough as far as I remember, so they aren't as noticeable throughout the game. It's wonderfully addictive, though. I don't think I'll be able to leave it alone until I've completely finished it.


Can't even enter my name or get past the ENTER YOUR NAME screen. What the hell?


For me, it demonstrated once again the downside of the single button interface. This is a puzzle type that requires two different sorts of labels for each square (actually, like Minesweeper, it really requires three, but not for very small puzzles so I can live with that) but the touch system only allows for one at a time, not to mention that you are penalised for misclicking on "correct" squares, which is very easy to do when the only easy way to label "incorrect" squares is to revert to the keyboard.

It's a near-miss for me, but that makes it a complete fail because the things it needs to do well are actively annoying and the entertaining badges etc. do not make up for that.


It's a nice addition but all the visual effects make it unplayable on my not-so-slow office PC.

I still prefer the very old yet beautiful one found here:

Especially the music is great.


I'm sorry, but is this review a joke? If it's satire, I agree with it completely, but if it's to be taken at face value, then what the heck are you smoking and why aren't you sharing with the rest of the class?

A keyboard interface for picross? Seriously? I'd give this negative mushrooms if I could. It has all sorts of things that have no business anywhere near a picross puzzle (penalties, badges, have I mentioned penalties?), and nothing that a picross puzzle should have, such as easily switching between coloring in and X-ing out. The interface is clunky as all get out: it never believes your first click on a button, and then sometimes it interprets your second and third frustrated click to start the effing puzzle already (dammit!!!) as an incorrect pixel.

I mean, this game requires you to earn the ability to turn off the music. No, I'm not kidding: a mute button is an achievement.

It's like a committee got together on April 1st and brainstormed all the ways to ruin a picross interface, then worked for a month to cram all of those bad ideas into one game, and this is the result. Seriously, it's that bad.


It lags a bit depending on what I'm listening to and the combination of a countdown timer and mistakes shave play time down makes for a very small margin of error. But it's okay.

@SHIPOOPIE, I get that a lot when watching something on Hulu. And occasionally the last ad would be skipped but the audio for it would still play during the show


Wow, I don't know what depressants everyone is on tonight, but I like the fun additions to the picross genre myself.

That could be because I am with playing on a laptop with a keyboard so am not struggling with the one button interface.

The penalty for hitting a correct square by accident is a bit annoying since every time I have done it, it has been by accident, BUT there has to be a penalty somewhere otherwise it would just be trial and error watching the numbers clear.

Leopardmask April 28, 2014 7:00 PM

Not the best picross game ever. I don't like that random misclicks are penalized; this is especially harsh when you're being timed and trying to keyboard around or click/touch a tiny square as fast as possible. I do agree that there should be something against random trial and error but maybe they should just make the grey-out thing not so easy to trigger. I don't mind the achievements system so much, because mobile games do often have that kind of system, and also have about 5 zillion levels. The switching isn't super easy, but it does work to have 2 different keys for two different actions. I imagine it would be more difficult on mobile. The main thing is, I don't believe picross should be a competition like this. Timed puzzles? Penalties? Points? They don't do this kind of thing with Sudoku, unless someone wants to beat their own record. I'll play NoNo Sparks over this any day.

uncopy2002 April 28, 2014 9:48 PM

@Leopardmask, obviously you don't understand the point at all: the author is apparently going for the aesthetics of something like, Mario's Picross in GB. I mean, isn't that as bloody obvious as ever? (To other reviewes too.) As far as that goes I feel it immensive. Puzzles are good too, with only Peach having 2 possible solutions and Marshmellow unsolvable without guessing up something.

And I must have to say, much more worse picross games do exist (I mean the recent Picross Madness. That's terrible), and besides, Hungry Cat Picross also features and time limit for 3-star mechanism. NonoSpark... with the number of puzzle in it, it's story-telling more than puzzle.

So seriously, I don't even know. It's as if you guys don't really play picross games at all.


@uncopy2002, it's precisely because I play a lot of picross that I know how horrible this one is.

My favorite is www.griddlers.net. The search functions are a little wonky, but the puzzle interface itself has everything you could want, including the holy grail: right-click to mark as background. If you create an account, there are even various competition options, but I've never bothered.


After three adverts, all playing loud sounds, only one with a 'close' or 'skip' button, I couldn't get past the 'play' screen. Tried pressing both the triangle and the word 'play.

This sort of thing – numerous loud unskippable ads and then no function – is the death spiral of popular sites. After a few of these I'll probably stop coming to jayisgames.

Jamilworm April 29, 2014 1:23 AM

When I saw that it had a keyboard interface I was ready to hate it, but after playing I think it's a neat twist. I can imagine it being frustrating with the touch interface but I think the keyboard is surprisingly easy to get the hang of. Except sometimes I accidentally mix up which finger is which and get penalized for a wrong click. I think everyone agrees that the penalty for wrong click is really really stupid. But overall I actually like the game.


Sigh, I am still yet to find a picross game that is as easy and fun to play as one called GraphiLogic.

This makes me want to go and pay them money for levels beyond the 300 I've gotten for free instead of taking longer to click through the menus than it does to actually play each level.


You have some real problems with your ad serving platform. I've had many cases of multiple instances of ads trying to play simultaneously, sometimes just the audio. Have tried three different browsers and still haven't actually managed to play this game. On FF and Chrome, I'm having the same problem that Joe Gordon had (i.e. the Play button does nothing on the name entering screen).


Just to add to this, I found the game on a competitor site and it worked perfectly first time.

Patreon Crew Jeff April 29, 2014 9:18 AM replied to jbeaver

We have no controls on the ads inside this game.
It's a viral version and both the sponsor of the game and the developer(s) agreed to implement ads in the game and the revenues are for them.
It's like Satori said, we deal all the time in our internal forum with the fact to cover or not games which will deserve to be reviewed but which have too much ads.
Indeed, there is an issue with this game anyway, fortunately it does not often appear!


It's very difficult to play on a phone - so very tiny. Almost impossible NOT to hit an incorrect square. It would be really nice if I could zoom in. Any chance that's an unlockable feature?


The biggest improvement from picross is the automatic clearing of the numbers on the side once a row/column was completed. The rest to be honest just seems like fluff that doesn't really improve game play...


I'd really like a sort of 'cross' between the touch and keyboard controls. I'd like to just move the mouse and have the selected box move to that space. Then I could just use the keyboard to mark as filled or blank.

Interestingly enough, when I played, it never told me I made a mistake; I noticed it myself and fixed it before I finished. At the end, it still said no mistakes. I'm not sure if that's just some setting I left off, or a bug.

katherineboag April 30, 2014 6:23 AM

Any picross game that does not give you the option to ignore errors is actively terrible. I don't want to be told if I've done something wrong, or if I drag just one box too far, or if the game doesn't automatically default to a straight line if you drag (mouse controls). -_-

Lyntermas May 2, 2014 1:04 PM

Enjoyed the game so far, but one thing that puzzles me is the Junk Collector Badge. It looks like a huge bonus, but I'm having trouble determining what exactly counts as "junk". I'm guessing it doesn't include vehicles or foods, but is a beach chair "junk"? The only one I know for certain is the Flag, since that's the puzzle that unlocked the badge.

ginny.r.brock May 5, 2014 5:41 PM

With the mouse interface, you have to click on the word "touch" to change from pencil to X. This is kind of a small target, especially when I'm on a roll of marking squares off, and I've gotten a lot of penalties for penciling squares I intended to X. (Mayby ironic since there are no penalties for mismarking X's, only for mismarking pencil-ins.)

When you're on X, clicking anywhere inside the circle with the X (above the word touch) will change to pencil. This is much more convenient. Is it a bug that the big circle won't change from pencil to X?


I've been enjoying this. It has its failures, but there are so many Picross games out there and so few that DON'T have major issues. I actually consider this one of the best PC Picross games right now.

The lack of an option to not actively penalize errors (and passively penalize them by letting you get yourself deeper and deeper into trouble) is a perfect example, as it seems like 90% of Picross games do it that way these days. And at least in this one, it seems to be completely embedded into the concept - failed pixels get tracked, you can buy a shield which allows a single failed pixel without penalty, and you can get badges that give you more XP or gold on perfect games.(1) So I'll forgive it... just this once. :)

I don't particularly like the interface, but the keyboard especially gets easier as you get used to it. If you like Picross, I certainly recommend trying this out and deciding for yourself what you think.

(1) Unfortunately, these badges do not appear to actually work right now. I was pretty sure it wasn't working, and I just tested a 10x10 with (825 gold in 2:33) and then without (656 gold in 3:59), both perfect, and if I am getting double gold on the first, then something else is very strange. Major pity, especially since those badges are expensive. So... developer? Pretty please? :D

yunruiwatts May 17, 2014 5:39 PM

I agree with the others that the ads are annoying, but if you let them play then the game plays just fine once the ads are done. Knowing that, I've been pulling up the game in a new tab and leaving it alone for a minute or two before trying to play. That way the ads have not been preventing me from enjoying this game.

Perhaps when a game has issues with ads, like how this one has multiple ads that come up and behave weirdly, you can include a disclaimer in your review. I would hate for JIG to have to not include some good games just because of odd pre-game ad behavior.


Got to add my voice to the advert complaints. It's taking me about 10-12 refreshes to get a working version of the game. The culprit appears to specifically be the Ronan 47 ad which plays its audio over everything.

yunruiwatts May 24, 2014 1:29 PM

Finished all the puzzles! Too bad the daily puzzle never works for me.

I'm still missing 5 non-level badges (at least one of which is related to doing daily puzzles) and 6 prizes, and I'm at level 69. Based on the dev's website you can get to at least level 100, but with the reduced gold and exp you get from re-solving a puzzle, that would take a ridiculous amount of time.

One nice thing about keyboard input is that it makes it quite easy to write a script that can resolve a puzzle. :D

wardrich June 1, 2014 2:52 PM replied to Lyntermas

I unlocked it with the Whistle puzzle (I'm doing them out of order). I'm not sure what is considered "junk" :(


I actually really like this game. Sure, it's not the greatest version of picross ever (none will ever be as good as picross for nintendo ds, if you ask me). All the achievements and unlockables are frivolous nonsense but they're easy enough to ignore. I actually prefer a keyboard interface to touch. I find it more precise and faster to play that way.

The only thing I don't like is that you can still color in tiles even after you've marked them as empty. This seems to go against the whole point of marking the tiles as empty. I've gotten quite a few penalties because of that, because I tend to play really fast on picross games where you can use buttons rather than mouse.

myhre.aaron July 13, 2014 3:26 PM

The advertisement thing is annoying. Sometimes I have to reload several times just to be able to play the game and if I turn on AdBlock, it won't let me play at all. Furthermore when using a mouse, it's really easy to go to the side and mess up a perfect puzzle, forcing you to restart if perfect is what you're going for. Very annoying if you are near the end of a 20x20. Would be considerably better if you only could travel in one direction at a time.

damon April 4, 2015 4:20 PM replied to Joe Gordon

That happened to me, too, but once I typed in my name, then pressed start and refreshed, the game loaded up fine, with my name in there.


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